How to Successfully Manage a Diverse Team
The modern workplace is a truly diverse environment in which teams of employees may be comprised of people from different ethnic, cultural and social backgrounds, different ages, different genders and different levels of experience. Leading a diverse workforce is not without its challenges but managers who can embrace diversity and possess the skills needed to shape employees with varied backgrounds into a cohesive and productive team are those destined for long-term success. Maguire Training's excellent Managing Diversity course gives leaders and managers the best possible grounding in this essential management topic, covering the legislation relating to equality and discrimination, employer responsibility and management procedures and common diversity management problems and their avoidance.
Prior to formal training, there are several steps that can be taken by leaders and managers who may be facing their first diverse team to ensure that they start off on the right foot. Here, Maguire Training pass on some top tips which demonstrate how to successfully manage a diverse team.
- Divide your time equally among everyone
Regardless of their age, gender, race or social background each individual is unique and has something of value to contribute. Avoid allegations of 'favouritism' by devoting the same attention to each employee, taking the time to discover their personal needs and strengths and developing them in the most appropriate way.
- Use nothing but your own judgement to assess employees
Don't fall into the trap of believing that an employee of a particular background or ethnicity automatically conforms to a stereotype. The way in which you lead and develop an individual must be based upon your own experience and judgment of them and not of some belief or expectation of how they are 'supposed' to behave or perform.
- Lead by example
Treat each member of your team with the same respect, courtesy and diplomacy and encourage the same behaviour between employees. Deal with any conflict swiftly and effectively before it has the chance to escalate. Take a consistent approach to delegation and team motivation and generally exhibit the positive behaviours that you wish your team to adopt.
- Be as accessible to every member of your team as possible
A diverse team may have a wide variety of individual concerns, needs and issues and for good team relations each member should have the confidence that they can access and talk to you as and when the need arises. A fundamental part of any leader or manager?s role is to listen to, acknowledge and address any problems which may inhibit an individual's willingness or ability to perform their best.
- Be self-aware
Take the time to honestly appraise your own attitudes, beliefs and biases in relation to people who belong to a particular group or background. Don't let subconscious attitudes toward, or expectations of, for example, physical appearance, language, ethnicity, marital status or social standing influence your judgement of an individual's ability to perform their job.
Maguire Training can help leaders and managers to bring out the best in diverse teams and whilst managing them responsibly and fairly. Delegates who prefer to learn in their own preferred environment and at times which suit their working arrangements will benefit from the online training version of Managing Diversity, which offers all of the benefits of the classroom-based course but is provided via Maguire Training's convenient E-learning system.